7 Best Dorm Room Plants that Clean Your Air

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Most college dorms aren’t exactly…inspiring, to say the least. Off-white walls, same old cheap wood furniture, and paper thin carpet that hasn’t been replaced in decades.

College dorms, and apartments for that matter, don’t really feel like home. But when you’re in school, that’s exactly what they are. So, as soon as you move in you’ll want to make it your own.

While painting may not be an option you can throw a gorgeous wall tapestry up, bring in some colorful throw pillows and hang pictures of friends and family. All of these will help but one more thing you can do to truly breath life into the space is add an indoor plant or two.

Whether you grew up in a home full of plants or not, bringing in plants into your dorm room will not only brighten your space, but also boost your happiness levels, reduce anxiety, reduce the symptoms of depression, and make you more optimistic.

Plants can also boost cognitive function, enhancing memory, concentration, and attention.

You might not know this, but the reason why your plants died off before is likely because of the wrong lighting conditions. Remember photosynthesis, the process that requires light for plants to live? Well, it turns out that some plants do well in low-light conditions, but others need to bathe in light.

So, as you embrace your new title as a plant-parent to-be, this article is your guide for the best dorm room plants. You no longer have to worry about killing off plants while busy with school.

Best Low Light Dorm Room Plants

Can we all agree that not every room has well-lit spaces? It, therefore, means that if you’re going to get a plant for your dorm, it should thrive in the dark, not-so-lit spaces.

However, this doesn’t mean the low-light plant will survive in total darkness. All plants require sunlight for growth and chlorophyll production. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green.

What the low-light plants need, however, is very little sunlight and some artificial light for photosynthesis. And when it comes to these plants, all they need is just enough lighting; the natural light bright enough to let you do chores and things like reading or cooking.

So which are the best low-light dorm plants?

1. Snake Plant

Also called the Mother in Law Tongue, the snake plant is your ideal floor or tabletop dorm plant. This plant is popular in homes and offices not just for its good looks, but also because of their toughness. This plant is happier when you let it be, which means that you don’t have to baby it at all.

You might also like it because of variety to choose from in terms of the leaf size, its height, shape, color, and its variegation.

Snake plants look great in your college dorm room

What does the snake plant need to thrive?

If you have an upcoming trip that will take you away from your dorm for a few days, the snake plant will be just fine, thanks to its low water requirement.

It only needs to be watered every 2-6 weeks depending on the temperature and humidity of your dorm or apartment. With snake plants, make sure you don’t water them if the soil is still wet. You should make sure it is completely dry before watering, otherwise the roots could rot.

As far as sunlight, snake plants do best with indirect sunlight, so even if your dorm has little light they’ll be able to survive just fine.

2. ZZ Plant

You cannot go wrong with the ZZ plant. It’s rich, dark glossy-green brings life to any room, whether placed on the tabletop or the floor. At its highest, the plant only reaches 5 feet and the best part is that as it grows, its leaves arch out to create a super striking silhouette.

Don’t let the glossy green fool you, this plant is as tough as nails – it survives in the desert, and you don’t have to worry about the tips browning after you get it home.

The ZZ plant is one of the best dorm room plants

How to Care for the ZZ Plant

As mentioned, the ZZ Plant needs very little light so it can survive in any corner of your dorm as long as you get some sunlight. Like the snake plant, it requires little water, just make sure to water it only when the soil is dry. If the leaves start to turn yellow it means the plant is getting too much water.

3. Peace Lily

Did you know, that contrary to popular belief, the peace lily is not an actually a true lily? And that those while petals aren’t actually leaf bracts growing around the majestic yellow flower? This plant is also a great plant for the floor, and it’s one of the top-recommended indoor plants for air purification.

Peace Lily's will grow well as a dorm room plant

Keeping the peace alive

Peace lilies thrive in fluorescent light and also do well in low-to-medium light. Note, however, that the flowers only blossom in well-lit areas and in very low-light, it might not flower.

4. Begonias

If you want to brighten your dorm room with a flowering plant, try begonias. It is a low-maintenance plant that needs little light and some warmth.

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Begonias are a beautiful dorm room plant

Beauty in a pot

For that sensational statement, you might want to keep this plant in a partially lit windowsill – this will highlight all the beautiful colors of the foliage, as well as the unique foliage markings and swirls.

Caring for Begonias

Since this plant needs indirect light, you should get it only if your window faces east or west. Its water requirements are also low, and you need to let the soil dry out between watering.

Best Direct Light Dorm Room Plants

Did you get lucky with a perfectly lit dorm room? How about adding a plant that thrives under direct sunlight? Plants need sunlight for photosynthesis and all that green bloom, but others need light more than others.

These plants include:

5. Aloe Vera/Succulents

You can never go wrong with succulents when your dorm room is flooded with sunlight on most days. And aloe vera is one of the best succulents for your perfectly lit dorm room.

The aloe vera plant also has other benefits. This plant not only looks great, but you will love the sap. Aloe vera sap is the perfect home remedy for minor cuts or burns.

Aloe Vera and other succulents are good plants for your dorm room

Caring for Aloe Vera

All you need to do is ensure that the plant grows in a pot that will support heavy growth at the top, and one to encourage air circulation. You could also mound the soil around its stem to support a flopping plant.

6. Spider Plants

The spider plant gets its name from the long, skinny foliage that arches out from the plant’s roots, resembling a spider. It is one of the most adaptable and easy-to-grow indoor plants. It will grow in different conditions, but it flourishes in well-lit rooms.

Spider plants are a great dorm room plant

Caring for Spider Plants

When cared for well, your spider plant will, in full bloom, produce small white flowers. While the spider plant is expected to remain green, unless it flowers, it could brown if the water used is high in fluoride. So, use rain or distilled water.

7. Jade

Its interestingly fleshy leaves and the sturdy stems make the jade plant one of the most resilient houseplants. Jade loves the sun and will make you happy sitting pretty on the windowsill; it only needs four hours of sun in a day.

Jade is one of the best plants for dorms

What Jade Needs

To prevent the leaves from shading, keep your plant moist by watering it every time the soil surface becomes dry. Since this plant can survive for decades, keep it in a heavy pot to hold its weight, and take it to your first apartment.

What To Do Next

If you’re anything like me you’ll skim through this article, think “I should really get a plant” and then move on to whatever else you need to get done on your to-do list. But I didn’t write this piece to give you a temporary distraction.

Plants in your dorm or apartment can have a transformative effect. I didn’t realize this until I did it myself. Now I tell everyone I know that they need at least one plant in their home. I picked the seven plants above because they require very little care. They are in fact, the perfect dorm room plants.

So in a matter of 5 minutes, you can have a plant on its way to your home. Just pick one or two of the plants above then click the link below and order it on Amazon.

  1. Snake Plant
  2. ZZ Plant
  3. Peace Lily
  4. Begonias
  5. Aloe Vera
  6. Spider Plants
  7. Jade

You can also order a decorative pot from Amazon or head over to your local home and garden store and buy one. Transfer the plant into your new pot and you have a gorgeous plant bring positive vibes and cleaning your air.

Get one of the best indoor plants for apartments or plants for your dorm room.





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